'Bourne Legacy' could star Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, or...Paul Dano?! A casting agent weighs in.

Bourne-filmsImage Credit: Jasin Boland; Tina Gill/Janet Mayer/Bob Charlotte/Allen Berezovsky/PR PhotosWho will be the next Jason Bourne? That’s the question that’s got Hollywood buzzing today after a bunch of names were floated online as possible stars of summer 2012’s The Bourne Legacy. Ever since Matt Damon said that he wouldn’t be returning for a fourth installment in the action-packed, amnesiac spy franchise, fans of the series — and its creators — have wondered who would fill his sizable shoes. Tony Gilroy, who wrote the first three chapters and who will direct Legacy instead of Paul Greengrass, is now reportedly in the process of meeting several young Hollywood actors for the spin-off film. It should be noted that none of these actors would be playing Damon’s character, Jason Bourne, but rather another assassin on the run a la Bourne. The list is a mix of Who’s Who and Who’s That? 

While neither Universal nor Gilroy’s reps will confirm the names being floated, others have told EW that this list is neither full nor accurate. Still, there’s no reason not to take a look at some of the contenders vying to keep Damon’s seat warm until he hopefully decides to return. We asked one veteran Hollywood casting agent to weigh in on the list. Trust me, you’ll want to read what the agent had to say:

Jake Gyllenhaal: “I love Jake Gyllenhaal and he’s certainly in shape, but all of his movies have bombed. Price of Persia, or whatever it was called, my teenage daughter didn’t go to it.”

Tobey Maguire: “Why would he want to do this? He’s already been Spider-Man. He’s smart enough to be a Jason Bourne type and he’s an intelligent actor, but I can’t imagine he’d want to do this.”

Garrett Hedlund: “He was in TRON: Legacy, but I still don’t think people know who he is. I guess it depends what kind of audience they’re going for. Is it just teenagers? Because that’s not what the other Bourne films were. They appealed to older audiences too, and they were smart. My mother doesn’t know who Garrett Hedlund is.”

Taylor Kitsch: “There’s another one who I just don’t think is well known enough. He’s all-American-looking and he’s going to be in Battleship, but I don’t know if he can carry a movie. They may want to wait until Battleship comes out before they decide to cast him. I mean, he’s up-and-coming, but I don’t know if you want to hang a franchise on someone who’s up-and-coming.”

Kellan Lutz: “People know him because of the Twilight movies. But again, who is the audience for this movie? Where’s James Franco’s name? Because he’s the first person I would have thought of.”

Joel Edgerton: “He was terrific in Animal Kingdom and he’s going to be in The Thing. I like him and he’s got the right look. He’s Australian and he’s a wonderful actor. I saw him onstage in A Streetcar Named Desire. That might be an interesting choice.”

Josh Hartnett: “If you’d asked me five years ago, I might say yes. He’s a wonderful person. But I don’t know. Who knows, this could be the thing that puts him back on the map.”

Paul Dano: “What?! He’s the oddest name on the list, but he is super-talented. Maybe if they got him into shape.”

Michael Pitt: “Again, if you’d asked me before Boardwalk Empire, I would have laughed at you. But he was terrific in that. It could be an interesting choice. A really interesting choice.”

Oscar Isaac: “Oscar Isaac? Where are you getting these names? NO!”

Michael Fassbender: “Before you told me any of these names, two people came to mind who would be perfect for this: James Franco and Michael Fassbender. Yes. He’s got the acting ability and the sex appeal…for men and women. He’s hot stuff.”

Luke Evans: “Yeah, he’s good. He’s going to be in The Three Musketeers, but I don’t think people know who he is.”

Alex Pettyfer: “He’s in I Am Number Four. He’s fine. People are high on him right now. But I think he might not be ready yet.”

Benjamin Walker: “I like him. I saw him onstage in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He’s terrific and people are interested in him because he’s with Meryl Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer. But is he known enough? Can you hang a series on him?”

So that’s what the pro has to say. Who do you think should star in the next Bourne movie?

Comments (147 total) Add your comment
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  • Chelsea

    Michael Fassbender, please! Can’t wait to see him in Jane Eyre and as Magneto. He’s insanely gorgeous and can act.

    • katie


      • Kim E

        Yes! This man is gorgeous and fit! I can see this happening.

      • Juke Early

        What they said – Fassbender! BTW I really think Henry Cavill is excellent. But I might’ve cast Fassbender as Superman. Hmmmm maybe he passed?

    • A-K87

      Fassbender is good but I’d love to see Anthony Mackie get a good lead role like this.

      Mackie’s not one for the mainstream though. He’s a theatre boy.

  • Jon

    What’s the point of a Bourne film without Bourne? Why don’t they just name it something else? Would you go see a James Bond film without Bond???

    • Jen

      Exactly. Without Damon, who cares?

      • Ricky-Bobby

        Matt Damon was Bourne to do this role.

        Cheesy, but you know that someone had to say it.

    • Liz Lemon

      Agreed. No Matt Damon…no me.

    • Felix

      Bond has been played by six actors. I bet a few decades ago, people were saying they’d never watch a Bond movie without Sean Connery.

      • Jon

        @Felix: I’m not even talking about Damon, I am talking about the character, Jason Bourne. If I am going to see a James Bond film, I don’t care if it’s played by Connery, Moore, or Craig. Heck, it could be played by Angelina Jolie in male drag. But why would anyone pay for a film marketed as a James Bond film, starring, say, James Bond’s twentysomething second cousin?? If the film is called The Bourne whatever, it better feature Jason Bourne, otherwise, what’s the friggin’ point?

      • Liz Lemon

        It works for James Bond, because that’s marketed as an alias that is inhabited by different people. Jason Bourne is different. Matt Damon made that character what he is. It won’t be the same without him, even if they do cast another actor in the lead. And considering the actors EW has listed…none of them are even remotely close to Damon’s level of talent. And some of the suggestion are just weird.

      • Legacy

        That’s why it’s called “Bourne Legacy.” Apparently, you are unfamiliar with what the word legacy implies.

      • A-K87

        That guy is right, ‘Legacy’ is a word with a meaning.

    • Darby

      Damon=Bourne. No Damon, don’t even bother…

      • Read

        The title reads Bourne LEGACY. Perhaps you should look up the word legacy in the dictionary.

  • ella

    Ryan Gosling

    • Maureen


  • argem

    Michael Fassbender or Taylor Kitsch please!

  • Shannon

    Ella, I like your choice, Ryan Gosling is amazing in everything he touches. My other suggestions are: James McAvoy, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’m not crazy about the James Franco suggestion though.

    • Tommy

      I didn’t even think about Tom Hardy, but I would definitely watch him in this role.

    • Amber


      • Gina

        I agree that Matt made the role and it will not be the same w/o him, BUT if i had to pick…my choice would be Joshua Jackson from Fringe…he is buff and sooo talented!

    • katy

      Not Ryan Gosling, not gritty enough. I like Michael Fassbender or how about Jeremy Renner? He would be great I think, but I really wish Matt would do it.

  • Shannon

    Oh I’m totally on board for either Michael Fassbender or Taylor Kitsch, but I’d like to add Dominic Cooper to my list too! He’s very underrated!

  • harry

    Jensen Ackles!!!

    • Liz

      I was totally against recasting Bourne, but this suggestion made me stop and think for a minute. He’s one of the very, very, very few I would be okay with.

    • Kim E

      Richard Armitage!!!

    • Alia

      For Jensen? Heck yeah, I’d see it.

  • meg

    You are either a Casting Director or an Agent, not a casting agent.

    • Jenny

      Well said Meg- really grinds my gears when I see’Casting Agent’ used so frequently and incorrectly!

  • therealeverton

    As we’re not talking about Jason Bourne is there a reason there’s no mention of Chiwetel Ejiofor?

    • Adolf H. Itlerz

      Nobody wants to see a big-budget action blockbuster starring a monkey.
      Let’s keep the Bourne series gloriously white, ok?

      • KateGrand

        Racist. Delete that crap.

      • therealeverton

        How is this garbage still here?!

      • Annie Gerhater

        I agree. Jason Bourne should be white and American, not black and british. Besides, who’s gonna remember Chieewetel whatshisface’s name? Matt Damon…that sounds All-American and kickass…

      • Devin

        As they said in the article “It should be noted that none of these actors would be playing Damon’s character, Jason Bourne, but rather another assassin on the run a la Bourne.” So they could cast a black man or anybody else.

      • Mr. Razastein

        Im the grumpy old troll WHO LIVES UNDER THE BRIDGE

      • Richard

        omg! this, for me, is the biggest issue for contemporary moviedom ever! I cannot imagine Jason Bourne being anyone other than Matt Damon! – c’mon you moneybags producers! offer him another 20 million cuz he IS worth it! This is big time!……It will not go down in history in a ‘right way’ if you cast anyone else! please?….the trilogy was so well-done(perfect!) that you have actually made us more particular about who is doing this role…Matt is big enough to draw the bucks and intelligent enough to play it well – just give us what we want and nobody will get hurt! lol

      • John

        Stick with Matt Damon, he has a couple of more years as Bourne before he will turn into a cross between Jimmy Stewart and Mitt Damon

      • therealeverton

        So you guys think itr is OK to describe BLACK people as MONKEYS?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Also this NOT JASON BOURNE it is another character entirely, it doesn’t even have to be a man, let alone a white man.

  • Cece

    I love Sam Worthington.. he’d be great

    • Andr

      He’s great at making wooden faces. But what if there are scenes where he need to show some emotion?!

  • Bob in San Diego

    Armie Hammer

    • Jay

      Heck yeah!!

  • David

    What’s the point of seeing a Bourne film without Matt Damon? This isn’t James Bond and no one will ever replace Damon.

    • Amy

      Yes, I agree.

  • MGL

    I think Chris Pine. He was great in Unstoppable!

    • SirLizard

      My first thought was Chris Pine.

  • Chris

    Jeremy Renner from The Hurt Locker would be my suggestion.

    • Katzzz

      omg, I love how people guess casting choices right, and he was perfect for this!

  • Sheila G

    I only read this because it wasn’t about Charlie Sheen. No Matt Damon no more Bourne for me.

    • Alia

      Heh. Nice.

    • Cindi

      Sheila G – That was the best comment ever! Tears are running down from laughing. Thank you!

    • Wha’ever

      Yeah, right !! All the headlines are about Sheen these last two days !! :o

    • OG

      Well, what about Charlie???? He is well known and available I hear, as of this week….. After all the writer has the rough draft of the actor as he writes the storyline…. I also had a mental flash of Robert Downey, Jr… He handled Sherlock Holmes, quite well, as it was written in this era. Not of Basil’s or Nigel’s era, as some OG’s can recall!!!! Just a passing comment..

    • ree


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